17 September 2015

To automate a wide variety of merchandising activities companies implement merchandising software. Today there is great number of merchandising software solutions that allow merchandisers to perform paperless retail data collection using portable mobile devices.

Today’s most technically advanced solutions for merchandising are Cloud-based, providing 24/7 access to information from anywhere and offline data-collection capabilities. Mobile applications for merchandisers can run on common Android and iOS tablets and smartphones allowing BYOD implementations and making everyday merchandising routine a breeze.

Certain types of merchandising software solutions are all-inclusive, allowing you to manage not just merchandising activities, but also customer relations, field sales, retail audits, marketing and promotions, and more than that in all-in-one easily accessible solution. Most sophisticated software vendors have gone even further, adding built-in analytic capabilities and integrating their merchandising solutions with analytic services like BigQuery.

Due to the great variety of vendors and types of software for merchandising, it’s often hard to make the decision of what is the best merchandising solution for your company. Generally the merchandising apps for your field team are largely dependent on the needs of your company. Getting this right upfront will save you budget and time, so, before choosing a software solution for your merchandisers, check out the following tips.
  • Take into account the size of your company. Not all merchandising solutions are created equally. Some companies offer a massive bunch of software solutions with a wide range of products, which involve the need to train merchandisers on new tools and environment. These solutions suit for big companies, who can afford to invest heavily in technology and training. If your merchandising team is not really big, you probably don’t need this type of software. You’d better choose a smaller product size that will meet your specific needs and has certain scalability, so you can customize the solution, when your company grows.  
  • Opt for a comprehensive and scalable solution. This recommendation follows from the preceding. Good merchandising software covers all the operations in the field, providing real-time data exchange between field reps and the office. Great field team management software stands out from the rest of scalability, which means growing with your business when needed thus avoiding the extra costs.
  • Decide, which business processes you need to optimize. To choose the right type of software for your field reps without making them overwhelmed by it’s features and capabilities, you simply have to identify things that are is most important for your business and need to be optimized. This can be field reps tracking, sales forecasting, order management, performance evaluation and so on. Knowing what is critically important for your business determines the specific merchandising software features and significantly narrows the search allowing you to easily navigate in great variety of opportunities that merchandising software vendors offer to customers. 
  • Look for simple, easy-to-use applications. All the opportunities provided by a merchandising solution can be whittled down if it is hard to use. Generally, people tend to resist innovations and merchandisers are not an exception. To make field reps love the new way of field team management, give them the right tools that are intuitive, easy-to-use, team ready and do not involve the need of training on new tools and environment. Opt for up-to-date merchandising solutions that run on common tablets and smartphones your merchandisers already use. Working on familiar device with familiar features and interface increases the chances of successful merchandising software adoption by merchandisers.
  • Consider the opportunities of integration. To easily incorporate a merchandising software solution into your workflow, you should think out how it will integrate with other programs and applications your business already uses. Even a comprehensive solution for merchandising needs to communicate with special purpose software, such as, for example, accounting programs. To provide smooth integration and maximize the value of merchandising software, look for vendors, who have experience with your specific kinds of integrations.

To learn more how to use a merchandising software solution, visit www.visitbasis.com, sign up today to get your free trial, or schedule a free demo to see how it works.

To try our data collection software for free register at www.visitbasis.com and download the VisitBasis Retail Audit App FREE on Google Play or App Store. To learn more about how our field merchandising system works request a demo or check the links below to watch the demo videos.